Monday, June 7, 2010


BOSTON, Massachusetts - There are two people inside of everyone. And these very different personalities have a way of defining us. Before you get the impression that by using the term "defining" that I'm referring only to how the world sees us, it's how we see ourselves as well. Responsibilities and goals alike are affected by which side is making the decisions. Throughout the world of golf we encounter people who excel at the sport and those for whom teeing it up can be an embarrassing and painful time in their lives. It's easy to lay it at the feet of "talent vs. no talent" but I think it's more complicated than that. Maybe it's just a matter of who is calling the shots.

The totality of somebody's attitudes, interests, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, and other individual traits endure over long periods of time. Sometimes the "other" guy gets buried under years of dominance by the stronger personality. If the assertive side of you is driven to succeed, you have a chance to be a Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods. But if you are more easily seduced by the more comfortable things in life, the top of the ladder is unreachable. That doesn't mean you can't climb past the lowest rung. Here's where common sense golf instruction enters the picture. Here's where you learn to feel good playing golf.

My particular personality lends itself to waking up slowly. When I neglect attending to things like stretching or some light cardio, I go through the day feeling limited in my capacity-to play golf well, and most everything else. The shoulder turn isn't as full. The aches and pains set in. Stamina sometimes becomes an issue. But on those glorious days where the "other guy" makes an appearance, I'm suddenly 21 years old again and can pretty much accomplish anything I want. View this as a golf lesson because it's just as important as a squared club face at impact or golf shoes that don't cause blisters.

But does it take strength, courage, guts, will and determination to be all that you can be? My answer is that it doesn't. It's more a matter of giving the "other guy" a voice. And when he tells you that by doing a few simple things that your golf game will improve and be more enjoyable, just listen. If you're like me, there are no Lance Armstrongs lurking inside. But there is a part of you that will make an effort if there's no real effort involved, get it? He's the one who should be doing the driving.

Here's what to do when you want to feel 21. A large exercise ball will become your best friend because you'll use it to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your tired, cramped up bones and muscles. Spend one minute sitting on the ball, knees at a 90 degree angle and bounce up and down. Then start reaching for the ceiling, using both your legs, torso and arms to get as high as you can. Do this for a minute or two. If you haven't injured yourself, you'll feel at least an inch taller when you are done. Then lay on the ball facing up and feel the extension in your back and hips. You might want to stay in that position for the rest of the day but it's really not necessary. Next, while sitting, bend forward with your legs straight and try touching your toes. Last, slide your butt forward until it is touching the ground while your back remains pressed against the ball. Step one is over-the whole process took about five minutes. You should be as limber as a snake.

I bought a small trampoline that serves as a springboard to getting my blood flowing. Jump up and down on it for two minutes and your cardio will kick into gear. If you need to lose weight, as I do, this will stimulate your metabolism as well. Two ten-pound dumbells await their turn and what they do is allow me to strengthen upper body muscles as well as unkink my shoulders and elbows when I twist and maneuver them. Again, two minutes of that is plenty. Whether you like to walk, run or bicycle, a short trip around the block connects you with the world. Sure, it's exercise that's good for you but the mental stimulation that comes from your encounters with external things is really beneficial to completing the picture. Get out there. The birds are singing.

So that's just about it, not  Simple yet effective. Fitness for those of us who hate fitness. Just like the Over The Top Golf swing is for those of us who hate practicing and constant lessons. Take my advice and feel 21 again without having to work at it. Listen to your "other guy."


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, coming over the top, golf fitness, golf instruction, golf lesson, learn golf, squared club face at impact
Revised 09-03-2012